Winter At It's Finest When Oysters & Red Fish Abound

December 7, 2011 by Larry Pentel

I got to spend most of last week at Indian Pass. Got over there right after a cold front on Tuesday evening. The next day (Wednesday) my wife and my oldest daughter ( the Tripletail Queen) and I braved the cold and went and picked up our limit of oysters. Now, there is no way you can call hoggin' oysters fishing, but boy, do they make for some great dinners, snacks and treats! I have eaten at least a few everyday this past week, and a couple days we pigged out.

The next day had the wind down and the temp up a little so Darcy and I
went sight fishing Redfish. Now, not to brag on my daughter any, but
even though she has never done this before, the 3rd fish we saw (5
minutes after I started poling) she hooked and caught.

As soon as she hooked up I put the pole down and threw at another fish and hooked up
also. When I put the 2 fish in the box she asked "what's the limit ?"-- I
told her we were limited out and the pressure was off- just throw and
have fun! We had perfect conditions and probably saw over 200 fish in
the 2 hours we played.  I think we got 10 to eat our rubber shrimps
before we went to get more oysters for redfish & oyster stew.

"Your Right Dad- This is Great!"

Not a Tripletail but Just as Much Fun!

I had a pair of long time fishing partners come over to give the Reds
a shot the next 3 days. The first day we had clear water, a slight
breeze and a high sky. We saw probably over 300 fish with my anglers
getting 14 Reds (and a flounder) to the boat and lots of "just missed"
casts and laughs at the goofs. We gave the Trout a shot for the last
couple hours of the trip but they were not nearly as cooperative- we only
boated 4 specks.

While this fellow shows off his catch his partner is up on the ladder throwing at another!

The next day was breezy, the water was starting to mud up and the
conditions made "technical fishing" hard. I think they had half again as
many fish pull off as they landed- hard to set the hook in the breeze.
Still a good morning though with a 1 fish limit per person, it's easy to
limit out-- even if you catch fish bigger than the slot--- We had shots
at over 200 fish in 4 hours.

Another Nice "Un-- OOPS!! an inch too long ! Throw it back----

Sunday dawned with a 25 knot east wind and 3' waves breaking at the
end of the boat ramp. I told my folks there was no way way we could pole
the flats and sight fish but we could go up the Intercoastal and catch
Reds and Trout on live shrimp, no problem. Alas, I had spoiled 'em the 2
days previous and they were "hooked" on sight fishing.  They decided to
come back when the weather was more cooperative to do just that. I hate
it when I do too good a job of showing folks the most fun part of

You can always tell it's winter when the snowbirds show up. No, not
the drive 15 miles an hour in the fast lane with a right blinker on
birds...the original snowbirds.

There are 3 different flocks of White Pelicans at the "Pass" this
year. A beautiful sight that distracts from looking for Redfish!

I hope to get out in the Gulf for a trip or two at the end of this
week and then back to the "Pass" to sight fish Reds again all next week.
I heard good reports on the Flounder in the Gulf while we were seeing
all the Reds inshore--- so many fish, only so many calm winter

Be ready so you can get out there the next calm day!


Larry Pentel's picture

Captain Larry Pentel is a native of South Walton, growing up just 300 yards from the beach. Having fished the local waters for over 40 years, he is very familiar with all the different types of local fish, their habits, and most importantly - their habitats. Captain Larry is the owner of Dead Fish Charters

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